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The University of Southampton
(023) 8059 3783

Professor Tom Markvart BSc, PhD

Professor of Energy Conversion

Professor Tom Markvart's photo

Professor Tom Markvart is Professor of Energy Conversion within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Tom Markvart obtained BSc and PhD in Mathematical Physics from the University of Birmingham in 1974 and 1975, respectively. He came to Southampton in 1977 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Mathematics and later Engineering Materials. After brief periods at ONERA/CERT in Toulouse and Instituto de Energia Solar at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid he returned to Southampton as Head of Solar Energy Centre. In 1994, he was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC Clean Technology Fellowship, becoming Reader in 2002 and Professor of Energy Conversion in 2009.

Tom Markvart is the UK representative on European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy where he is member of the Steering Committee. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells and Journal of Photonics for Energy, and has served on a number of advisory boards for international conferences. His Solar Electricity (2nd ed, Wiley, 2000) remains among the most popular textbooks on photovoltaics; Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics: Fundamentals and Applications (with Luis Castañer) was published Elsevier in 2003.

Research interests

Tom’s research interests span the breadth of photovoltaics, including fundamentals of PV conversion, materials and device aspects, and both stand-alone and grid connected PV systems. His research currently focuses on new concepts in photovoltaics, principally the application of light harvesting to enhance the photoexcitation of silicon, the use of photon frequency management for the capture and concentration of sunlight, and the thermodynamics of light.

Research group

Engineering Materials

Affiliate research group

Energy Technology

Research project(s)

Light harvesting for high-efficiency low-cost solar cells

The operation of a solar cell bears a remarkable similarity with the most ancient solar energy converter on Earth: the photosynthetic apparatus of plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria.

Using photonics to improve the capture of solar radiation

This project aims to enhance the operation of solar cells by trapping fluorescent light in the waveguiding modes of dielectric structures – or directly in solar cells.

Aeostat Power Generation

Transmitting power from an aerostat flying above the clouds.

Module title Module code Discipline Role
Fuel Cells and Photovoltaic Systems I SESM6017 Mechanical Engineering Course leader
Fuel Cells and Photovoltaic Systems II SESM6019 Mechanical Engineering Course leader
Introduction to Energy Technologies SESM6021 Mechanical Engineering Lecturer
Sustainable Energy Systems, Resources and Usage SESM6020 Mechanical Engineering Course leader
Professor Tom Markvart
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 7/4030

Facsimile: (023) 8059 3016

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